Commonwealth Games organisers came under fire after Scottish marathon star Callum Hawkins collapsed with heat exhaustion and nobody came to his aid.
The final day of competition brought medal table glory for Australia, who ended up with 80 golds to England’s 45.
But there was criticism of the host nation for the organisation of the men’s marathon under a red-hot morning sun.
Hawkins looked set for gold when he led the race by two minutes with just over a mile to go. But he then began to wobble on the road before falling over the kerb.
“The conditions were brutal, it was so hot,” said former winner Steve Moneghetti. “As a marathon runner the first thing you have to do is beat the event and today the event won.”
The drama played out live on television and alarm bells should have sounded even before the 25-year-old picked himself up and tried to continue, only to collapse again a few yards further on and hit his head on a roadside barrier.
It was a distressing sight, made worse by the fact it was a number of minutes before medical assistance arrived.
“Where on earth is the help?” asked BBC Sport commentator Steve Cram. “I’m sorry if you’re watching this at home, it’s really distressing. He’s going to hurt himself and there’s nobody anywhere near.
“We should have some more medical attention. This is a guy in real distress and someone needs to recognise it for his health at this point.
“You cannot just wait at the finish line. They’ve got radios. And finally somebody arrives. I think it’s disgraceful.”
Hawkins was taken to hospital, conscious and able to talk, leaving the way clear for Australia’s Mike Shelley to win in two hours 16 minutes 46 seconds. Another Scot, Robbie Simpson, claimed the bronze medal.
Team Scotland later confirmed: “Callum is sitting up and speaking with his dad and is undergoing further tests as a precaution.”
Hawkins spent the night in hospital as a further precaution, leaving Simpson to pay tribute to his team mate.
“I’ve spent the last four weeks with Callum and he’s been great with me and giving me confidence,” he said.
“He’s been showing me how the best guys prepare and I learned a lot from him. When I was half-way round and they said Callum was in the lead I was thinking ‘right, I want to get to the end so we can all do the Scottish team proud’.
“I saw him lying there and I wanted to stop to see if he was alright, but at the same time I wasn’t feeling that great myself. I was thinking I need to get to the line and try and hold on so the same thing didn’t happen to me.”
Asked to explain the delay in getting roadside assistance to the stricken athlete, Gold Coast organising committee chief executive Mark Peters said: “You can’t have medical people on every kilometre of the road.
“”Unfortunately athletes do run themselves to exhaustion and there is rarely a marathon where someone isn’t collapsing.
“Sometimes medical people arrive and athletes have to make a decision whether they want to go on or not and I understand that was part of the discussion.”
Peters went on to slam the behaviour of some spectators who chose to take photos of Hawkins as he lay in the road, adding: “This is not in keeping with the spirit of GC2018.”